Q&A #6082

Conic Sections: Circles

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From: Jeanne (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Apr 06, 2001 at 00:55:54
Subject: Re: Conic Sections: Circles

Hello Ian,

I have a couple of hands-on activities that you might fun to do with your 
The first one is a paper folding activity.   
I found a web page for you that gives you a complete lesson.

Here's webpage that gives you has pictures, plus a connection to the use of 
Geometer Sketchpad.  

Getting Conic Sections from folding paper:

If you wish to lead your classmates through a demonstration or model the 
activity, I suggest you use an overhead projector and wax paper.  (The 
creases will show up on the screen.) This way you can speak directly to your 

The second activity is my students' favorite.  I give each student a paper 
plate, a plastic knife or about 24 inches of dental floss and a cone to 
slice so that they can actually slice a cone and get a circle, ellipse, 
parabola and one branch of a hyperbola.  

I get paper snow cones from a restaurant supply store or from a vendor that 
sells snow cones in the summer.  These are my molds.

Sometimes I use jello to make the cones.  I use the "Jello Jiggler" recipe 
sometimes found on the box.  (Spray the paper cone with cooking oil before 
you pour in the jello.)

If I have a lot of time to prepare, I bake cone shaped cupcakes.  I place 
each filled cone in a soup can and bake a whole tray of them. 

Take off the paper and slice away!

Have fun!
-Jeanne, for the T2T service

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